Ranked number one in the country for his weight class, star wrestler Devin Peterson, 18, won't be competing with his Lincoln High team during the state wrestling tournament this weekend.
Wood County Judge Greg Potter sentenced him to 13 days in jail and community service after he pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct.
Two other teammates, Kasey Einerson, 18, and Zak Benitz, 19, also took the plea deal, but they were spared jail. Instead they'll serve 100 hours of community service and be assessed for possible counseling.
Rylan Lubeck, 18, chose not to enter a plea and his case will move forward to trial, scheduled in May.
The four wrestlers are accused of sexually harassing a younger teammate during the 2010-2011 wrestling season by dancing around him naked. Peterson is accused of touching the victim with his genitals.
Assistant District Attorney Craig Lambert said the four were being bullies who, "all crossed the line."
Deferred judgments were requested for Benitz and Einerson. That means they'll only be found guilty if they do not complete the community service or commit another crime within a year.
The state recommended Devin Peterson, 18, spend 90 days in jail, but Potter lessened the sentenced. Judge Potter said he originally wanted to sentence the state champion with probation, but Peterson's defense attorney said that would have meant losing his full scholarship to UW-Madison.
The judged ruled he'd go to jail Friday, March 2. He'll be able to go to school on Monday and will return to jail during his spring break.
"You're a great athlete, hopefully you'll learn from this," Judge Potter said.
Peterson is also sentenced to serve 100 hours of community service before he goes to college and pay court costs. All three are required to write a three-page letter to Judge Potter explaining how this ordeal has affected themselves, their families, their team, school and community.
Peterson's defense attorney, James Kurszewski, called the four defendants good kids, saying anyone would be proud to have them as sons.
He says their senior year should have been the time of their lives, instead they were, "shamed by unfounded allegations."
When asked if he Peterson had anything to say, he apologized.
"There will never be a situation like this. I apologize," he said.
During the hearing, the victim's mother, father, and step-father addressed the judge. His mother told the court her son has been anxious, depressed, and even considered suicide. She says at the sight of any of the defendants or their families, he became physically ill.
The victim's father said the last ten months have been rough and that his son was excited to be on the Lincoln High wrestling team but, "the lies, shifting of the blame and thuggery has been incredible," he said.
According to WrestleWisconsin.com Peterson and Lubeck signed letters of intent to compete for the University of Wisconsin - Madison next fall.
Click the links below to view our continuing coverage
Nov. 17, 2011 Accused Wrestlers May Be on This Year's Team
Oct. 19, 2011 Trial Delayed for Rapids Wrestlers
Oct. 11, 2011 School Board to Discuss Rapids Wrestlers' Punishment
Sept. 16, 2011 Wrestling Coach Suspended for 4 Meets
June 19, 2011 4 Lincoln High Wrestlers to Face a Jury in March
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